Best Vegan Protein Sources: How to Get Enough Protein as a Vegan or Vegetarian
Where do Vegans get Protein?
"How do you get protein as a vegan?" It's a question that vegans are used to hearing. But, in truth, it's not actually that difficult to eat enough protein as a vegan or vegetarian.
According to the World Health Organization, the average adult needs to consume one gram of protein per kilo of lean body mass each day in order to stay healthy. That means that a small woman needs about 50 grams of protein per day, whereas ideally the average man eats 70-80 grams of protein. Most meat-eaters consume far more than 100 grams of protein every day, potentially putting a strain on their kidneys, which have to deal with the by-products of protein breakdown.
Best Vegan Protein Sources
1. Soy beans, tofu, yofu and soy milk
Soy beans, which have been eaten in Asian countries for thousands of years, contain the complete range of amino acids that the body needs. As well as boosting protein intake, soy beans contain healthy phytoestrogens actively work to lower cholesterol levels in the blood. The FDA recommends eating 25 grams of soy protein every day to unblock arteries and promote cardiovascular health. Soy is particularly beneficial for post-menopausal women, whose lower levels of estrogen lead to many health issues.
Quinoa is a good protein source for vegans and vegetarians. One serving of quinoa contains as much protein as one large egg, so it is a good food for vegans trying to increase their protein intake. Quinoa is a grain that tastes a bit like rice, but it is much more nutritious.
Where Can I Buy Quinoa?
3. Leafy Greens and Sea Vegetables (Spinach, Kale, Seaweed)
Leafy green vegetables are a little-known vegan protein source. Dark green leaves pack a surprising amount of protein into a very small number of calories. Sea greens are also good vegan protein sources: one sheet of nori seaweed (used in sushi) contains 1 gram of protein and only a few calories. Green vegetables are nutritious: they are high in iron, vitamin K and zinc – all of which are vitamins traditionally lacking in the vegetarian diet.
More Vegan Protein Sources
- Top Ten Vegan Protein Sources
What are the best vegan protein sources? We take a look at the top ten protein sources for vegans and vegetarians.